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World Economic Forum (WEF)


The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Switzerland-based international non-profit organization known for its annual meeting in Davos. This meeting brings together influential leaders from a range of sectors including business, government, academia, and civil society, to discuss and shape global, regional, and industry agendas. The WEF also conducts research on global issues, including health, education, and the environment.


World Economic Forum (WEF) is pronounced as follows:World: /wɜːrld/Economic: /ˌiːkəˈnɑːmɪk/ or /ˌɛkəˈnɑːmɪk/Forum: /ˈfɔːrəm/WEF: /ˈdʌbljuː iː ˈɛf/ This is in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) notation.

Key Takeaways

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  1. The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its mission is to improve the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.

  2. WEF organizes an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, popularly known as Davos Summit. This meeting is a platform for powerful executives, politicians, intellectuals and journalists to discuss global issues like economic trends, climate crisis, geopolitical issues, and health concerns.

  3. The World Economic Forum also works on several initiatives relating to digital economy, cybersecurity, global health, education and skills, environmental sustainability, and financial systems among others. It collaborates with various governmental and non-governmental organizations to achieve its goals.



The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a crucial organization in the world of business and finance as it fosters public-private cooperation on a global level. It provides a platform for the world’s top leaders in politics, business, academia, and civil society to discuss and shape key global, regional, and industry-centric agendas. The discussions and decisions made during the WEF meetings often lead to international policy changes and decisions that directly impact the global economy, businesses, markets, and social issues. Thus, its importance lies in its influential role in steering worldwide economic policies and initiatives, shaping economic trends, and facilitating global collaboration for a fairer and more sustainable world.


The purpose of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is to encourage dialogue and develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing economic issues. The WEF functions as an international platform that brings together key actors from the state, business, academic and civil society sectors. The aim is to discuss and formulate strategies that can effectively address global challenges. The topics dealt with by the WEF range from economic competitiveness, global risks, industry transformations and digital economy to geopolitics, sustainability, and future of work.The forum is also known for its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. This esteemed gathering offers a space for top-priority discussions about international conflicts, emerging markets and other global economic trends. In addition to facilitating discussion, the WEF is used for building and nurturing relationships between global leaders, CEOs, celebrities, and other influential people who would otherwise not be in direct conversation with each other. These meetings enable collaborations, which can lead to solutions for global problems, innovations, policy-making and mutual economic benefits.


1. Global Competitiveness Report: The World Economic Forum annually issues a report detailing the competitiveness landscape of economies around the world. For example, in the 2019 edition, Singapore was ranked as the world’s most competitive economy, overtaking the United States, due to factors such as its advanced infrastructure and health systems.2. The Davos Meeting: One of the most notable real-world examples of the functions of the World Economic Forum is the annual meeting held in Davos, Switzerland. This meeting brings together world leaders, CEOs, and intellectuals to discuss pressing global issues. A recent notable Davos meeting is the 2020 event where stakeholders focused on global, regional and national initiatives that generate positive environmental impact.3. COVID Action Platform: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Economic Forum launched the COVID Action Platform. The platform is intended to coordinate global collaboration between private and public stakeholders in order to mitigate risks and impact on this unprecedented scale. Partners of the initiative include the World Health Organization (WHO) and major global corporations. This serves as a direct example of the WEF’s role in fostering international partnerships in response to global crises.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the World Economic Forum (WEF)?

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international non-profit organization that engages various leaders of the world in political, business, and academic fields to create global, regional, and industrial concepts for important international issues.

Who founded the World Economic Forum and when?

The WEF was founded by Klaus Schwab in January 1971.

Where is the headquarters of the World Economic Forum located?

The headquarters for the WEF is situated in Geneva, Switzerland.

What is the main purpose of the World Economic Forum?

The WEF aims to improve the state of the world by facilitating cooperation between public and private sectors. It seeks to address global issues like poverty, environmental problems, and economic crises.

How often are World Economic Forum meetings held and where are they hosted?

WEF meetings are held annually. The most well-known meeting takes place in Davos, Switzerland, however, other regional meetings are held around the world throughout the year.

Who attends the World Economic Forum meetings?

The WEF meetings are attended by global leaders including presidents, prime ministers, other political leaders, industry leaders, intellectuals, and sometimes celebrities who have an interest or expertise in the topics of discussion.

What is the significance of the ‘The Davos Manifesto’ in the context of the WEF?

The Davos Manifesto serves as WEF’s guideline for achieving stakeholder capitalism, a system in which corporations have a responsibility to all stakeholders, including their employees, customers, communities, and the environment, served alongside generating profits for their shareholders.

How can one participate in the World Economic Forum?

Individuals can participate in the WEF through various ways such as by being part of attending organizations, being invited to the Forum, or through virtual discussions and events that the WEF hosts.

Who funds the World Economic Forum?

The WEF is funded by its members, partners, and patrons – typically, large businesses, and corporations from around the world – who contribute by means of membership dues and partnership fees.

How does the World Economic Forum influence global decision-making processes?

The WEF provides a platform where world leaders and influential personalities can collaborate and exchange ideas. Although it does not enact policies directly, the conversations and relationships formed at its meetings can shape global decision-making processes. It helps set agendas and develop multi-stakeholder consensus on a wide range of critical issues that influence policy-making worldwide.

Related Finance Terms

  • Davos Summit
  • Public-Private Cooperation
  • Global Competitiveness Report
  • Stakeholder Capitalism
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution

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